News brings word that the keepers of virtue have now trained their sights on the South Snohomish girl’s softball team. Their crime, according to this story, is in playing by the rules in order to get a result the coercive authorities did not like.
A South Snohomish softball team in the thick of a major league-sized scandal has been eliminated from the Little League Softball World Series after losing a mandated one-game playoff.
South Snohomish lost a rematch Tuesday against Central Iowa, 3-2, ESPN reports. The single-game playoff followed regular pool play — where South Snohomish went undefeated — and was required after Central Iowa levied accusations of game-throwing against the local team.
On Monday, the previously unbeaten team of girls from South Snohomish lost 8-0 in pool play to a team from North Carolina at the world series tournament in Portland. In complicated play rules, the loss in the final game of pool play bumped the tough Central Iowa squad from the tournament, while still allowing Snohomish to move on.
But early into South Snohomish’s loss Monday, officials from other teams suspected something was up.
According to the Des Moines Register, the South Snohomish team didn’t only lose to North Carolina, they lost badly. The previously hard-to beat team didn’t get a hit, and they allegedly hardly tried to swing. When they did swing, they allegedly tried to bunt on two strikes or swung at balls in the dirt.
The Snohomish team’s four best players were also benched during the game, the Des Moines Register reported.
This is one of those examples that illustrates the difference between a consensual society and a coercive society. The former is all about the means, not the ends. Yes, the rules are there to give order and structure, to mitigate issues that face the society. There is an end in mind, but the focus is always on applying the rules uniformly and universally, even if you sometimes get a bad result.
Coercive societies are focused on the ends exclusively. The rules are just the tools used to get to the end. They are applied and ignored on a case by case basis, because all that matters is achieving the desired end. Utopian and religious societies are obvious examples, but every authoritarian society is an ends justifies the means system.
In a consensual society, we admonish the sort of gamesmanship by this team as poor sportsmanship. After all, throwing games is against the spirit of fair competition, but it was permitted so you accept the result. Utopian fanatics see an unwanted result and they change the rules on the fly to suit their purpose. It’s why they cooked up a big pile of goofy rules in the first place.
I think it was Alfred J Nock, but I may be mistaken, who formulated the idea of the hidden law. That’s the unofficial rules, customs and taboos that do most of the governing of society. Replace those with written rules and you crowd out the social lubricants that allow for peaceful coexistence. Put another way, written rules make crap weasels of us all because they force us to game the system, like this softball team.